Sz(t)uka kobiet. Discovering, recovering, restoring, resuming.
The theme of the panel is the problem of the disappearance of female artists from art history; women creators who, like Iwona Lemke-Konart, have been erased from the patriarchal record of artistic achievement. Invited guest representatives from various fields – visual arts, theatre, literature – will share their scientific experiences, but will also reflect together on the mechanisms of invalidating the historical role of women, their achievements and memory, and on ways to restore their presence. The discussion will reach back to the 19th century and the fate of the female pioneers of modern Polish art, who fought with great determination not only for a place in history, but also for the right to education and economic independence.
From May to September 2023, the National Museum in Warsaw hosted the exhibition “Without a Corset. Camille Claudel and Polish female sculptors of the 19th century” presenting the sculptures of nineteenth-century Polish women artists in the context of their contemporary Camille Claudel. During the discussion, the curators of the exhibition, Ewa Ziembińska, will talk about the concept and narrative of the exhibition and present the profiles of those who, like Tola Certowicz, founder of the first School of Fine Arts for Women in Krakow, have not gained their due place in Polish art.
A different perspective on the fate of the French sculptor will be presented by Kamila Klamut-Pawlik, artist, culture expert associated with the Jerzy Grotowski Institute in Wrocław. The artist has created a performance “Camille” based on the biography of Camille Claudel. The play will be performed during the Sytuacje-Relacje International Theatre Festival in Bydgoszcz on November 26th, 2023 on the stage of Teatr Polski in Bydgoszcz.
Anka Leśniak, an artist and researcher invited to the discussion, in her practice deals with biographies of women, including artists of the past, relevant to their time, which have been forgotten but which are significant from the perspective of contemporary discourses such as feminism, gender, cultural and ethnic identity, language, power relations. During the panel, she will present, among other things, a profile of Teresa Feodorowna Ries (1866–1956), an Austrian sculptor of Jewish origin – suffragette, immigrant and eventually refugee – on whose example she will draw attention to the aspect of institutional power involved in collecting and presenting art.
Julia Kusiak will also be speaking on the subject of creating archives of overlooked art. During the meeting, she will talk about the Remember Her Name podcast – a series of conversations with female artists that she conducted at the Arton Foundation as part of the Not Yet Written Stories – Women Artists’ Archives Online project – as well as her academic work, in which she investigates the reasons for the omission from the discourse of a generation of female artists debuting in Poland in the late 1970s and early 1980s (including Iwona Lemke-Konart).
The perspective will be broadened by Urszula Chowaniec, a literary and cultural theorist, Jewish history and queer researcher. The researcher poses the question of how to launch and create platforms that bring back forgotten women. How to create systems to recover content that is often repressed, overlooked, and excluded.
The discussion will be moderated by Dorota Chilińska, visual artist, activist, and feminist curator. Author of many events promoting contemporary women’s art. Iwona Lemke-Konart will connect with panellists online from Canada.
The work of Iwona Lemke-Konart, under the motto “czym, straciłam, najbardziej, zyskałam, najczęściej, gdzie, czym, prola,” will be presented at Municipal Gallery bwa in Bydgoszcz in the form of a presentation of her films:
1. ART IS IN LIFE, 1984, 10 min
2. WHERE ART IS / PICTURES, 1984, 2.53 min
3. THE LIMITS OF HUMAN CAPABILITIES, 1984, 3.46 min
4. THE ART OF WOMEN 2.0, 2007, 6.21 min
Dorota Chilińska (curatorial supervision), Juvenkracja Theatre Association, Municipal Gallery bwa in Bydgoszcz
Venue: Municipal Gallery bwa, 20 Gdańska St., Bydgoszcz, 17:00
Project co-financed by the City of Bydgoszcz
20 Gdańska St.